Kristoffer Byberg was a participant in the Connect program in 2018-2019. He comes from a place called Sola that is situated outside of the city Stavanger in Norway. He travelled to Juazeiro do Norte in the northeast of Brazil for his exchange. Through the exchange he learned many things and got a lot of valuable experiences. He will share some of these things.
During the last year I have stayed in Oslo and almost not been outside of city. In this situation it feels very strange to think that I lived in Brazil only two years ago. Although it feels like a long time ago and it feels almost unreal that I was there, I have many good memories from that time, and I learned many important things. I have tried to bring them with me in my everyday life in Norway.
I came to Brazil with expectations of learning a little Portuguese and playing a lot of football. I also expected that there would be a lot of work in the church, but as a former youth leader in my church in Norway, I thought that I would not learn so much in the church in Brazil. That was very wrong! The most important experiences and the most fun moments took place in the church.
The faith they have in the Lutheran churches in Brazil is built on the same faith as the faith in the churches back home in Norway. It is the expression of the faith that is different. Those who went to church did not just talk about their faith when they were in the church: their faith was with them throughout the day. To read the Bible every day was taken for granted. I was very inspired by how many people lived so close to God in their everyday life. I try to bring the routines we had in Brazil into my everyday life in Norway.
The people in the church also made my stay in Brazil even better. I made good friendship with several of them. We had good and important conversations, but we also laughed a lot together. Even today I call or message with some of them and I really hope I will meet them again!
When I now sit in a small apartment, I often reminisce about the time in Brazil and I am happy to have experienced everything I got to experience and that I chose to go on exchange through Connect. This is something I honestly can recommended others to do too!
Participant in Connect 2018-2019